feel good . do good . look good — cycling

Archive for March, 2009

Staying Light Longer

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

cold weather riders man woman bike date BostonWe even have enough time for a casual ride/bike date after work.
Hurray for bikes!


Monday, March 30th, 2009

Green Raleigh Superbe bike chainguard dynohub
There have been a confluence of references to Raleigh Superbes in my life recently. It started with Bikes Not Bombs, and their Superbe which was gone by the time my friend went out there to buy it. Commenting on his eventual Sport, Chiara mentioned the Superbe. Intrigued I found one on Craigslist in Providence for 0 (deleted now, must be sold). Finally, when reading about putting an internally geared hub on my city bike I came across Sheldon’s Superbe.

Raleigh Superbe 1966 English greenI was delighted when I found one in the basement of the Cambridge Antique Market (201 Monsigneur O’Brien Highway). They even let me try it out, even though I told them I was just looking. It is a 1966 and it doesn’t have the chaincase that the others do. Yet you can see in the photo that it is a Superbe, and the rest of the bits are there (locking fork, dynohub, Brooks saddle). My first thought was “smooth”. The bike glides. My next impression was a bit of the “joliness” of my Raleigh Sport. My current townie is fun, but he takes himself a little bit seriously. These old Raleighs seem a bit more relaxed. I wish I could justify a new bike. This Superbe is listed at a suberbe value and I’d really like to bring him home with me. I need an excuse – at 5 bikes I’m running out of excuses to buy yet another. Anyone???

Raleigh Superbe Green

Man’s Urban Cycling Jacket

Friday, March 27th, 2009

men man cycling bicycling jacket coat reflective DIY

men man cycling bicycling jacket coat reflective DIYFor the last year we’ve been hunting for an urban cycling jacket for a man. We had many criteria: light color, ease in the shoulder, amenities for cyclists – some of which had to be compromised in order to buy a jacket off the rack.

men man cycling bicycling jacket coat reflective DIYWe found a good start at a Christmas-time Orvis Warehouse Sale for . The fit isn’t perfect but it makes a good prototype. It has working buttonholes on the sleeves, which makes me very happy! It has a Norfolk jacket pleats allowing more reach and a double vent back, which is easier on a saddle.

I bought 3M Scotchlite reflective tape and piping. Now it’s time to make this jacket reflective! My husband just wants a swath of reflective tape along the waistband, but that’s not enough of a challenge for this crazy lady. Have any of you seen particularly clever examples of subtle and transformable conspicuity? (yes I know that’s something of an oxymoron)

DIY cycling jacket in actionHere’s what I’ve done so far:
1). Added tape along the inner edge of the cuffs such that when he folds them back there is reflection.
reflective tape cycling jacket bicycle safety

2). Added tape along the underside of the collar, so that when he stands it up there is reflection.
reflective cycling coat
We both want some kind of reflection along the back of the coat, and just differ in how to accomplish this. Some ideas include:

  1. Just sew some tape on there already! (owner of the coat’s idea).
  2. Add a back off triangle to the center vent back. It could snap up hidden into the coat when not in use and unsnap down below the flap when he’s riding.
  3. Similar to above, but using 3MScotchlite, a flap on the back that was a few inches and folded up into the jacket and folds down to reveal a reflective strip.
  4. Add some more subtle reflective cord along the seam lines of the shoulder gussets and down along the vents, I’d like to add piping but Orvis did too good a job of sewing it closed. I would also appliqué a piping-like stripe of 3MScotchlite along the sleeve seams for side visibility.
  5. Sew along various seam lines with reflective, but not metallic, thread (I’ve never seen such a thing, just heard about it, seems it’s used on EMT’s coats)
  6. Add a soft elastic reflective belt which comes out of the front pockets and clips in back when he wants to be reflective.
  7. Add a center back pocket (like in a jersey but with an invisible zipper) , the doing of which I would outsource to a tailor. If we did that I could add a blinky hanger and store the blinky in that pocket.
  8. Add screen printing with EZ Print Reflecto.
  9. Other ideas you might share with us?

We’d really love your feedback on this project!

Bikes and Gardens

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

bikes and gardens
Both the bicyclists and the greenery are re-emerging in our public spaces. Hurray! We’re all looking forward to spring!

Remember Kids, Don’t Ride on the Sidewalk

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

My friend and I were just talking about why she shouldn’t ride her bike on the sidewalk (and when to bend that rule). I think this image captures what I was trying to say far better than the thousand words it’s purportedly worth.

I saved this image a long time ago, and can’t provide attribution. I’d love to fix that…

Brrr – it’s still cold!

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

winter cyclist Boston
She was bookin’ across the bridge – it’s cold out there today!

winter cyclists Boston

New Bike Excitement – Gentleman’s Green Raleigh

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I am very excited to have helped my friend N get a new old bike. His previous folding bike had been stolen, so this time he wanted something that he can ride elegantly wearing tweed. He says it’s heavy enough he “goes slowly and stops slowly”. We’re going to work on improving that ‘stopping slowly’ part with some salmon Kool-Stop Continentals. We’re also going to ensure he gets a U-lock this time – this bike is shiny and pristine, down to the fender stays. Take a look:

British green Raleigh three speed 3

British green Raleigh three speed

British green Raleigh three speed

British green Raleigh three speed

Lesson Learned

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Last night on my commute I witnessed an accident between a cyclist and a van. Everyone was very nice and very scared and we all didn’t really know how to proceed. The girl on the bike was very shaken up, then man in the van looked afraid for his job.

In talking about the incident later, I was brought to realize that I should have called the police, just to file an incident report. That intersection would have a history and the cyclist would have recourse for a new fork (or bike).

Lesson learned – even if you don’t want to press charges, just always plan to call the authorities.

Funky Mix(te)

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

She’s got it all goin’ on! I LOVE the gold leather jacket.

Sunny Blues

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

man commuting Boston bicycle bike
This guy just seemed so cool as he coasted through the intersection on a sunny morning.